"When understood, the Buddha’s universe..is anything but alien and inhibiting. It is a world full of hope, where everything we need to do can be done and everything that matters is within human reach. It is a world where kindness, unselfishness, non-violence, and compassion achieve what self-interest and arrogance cannot. It is a world where any human can be happy in goodness and the fullness of giving." ❦ Eknath Easwara

February 2, 2012

On Skill in Letting Go of Hindering Visions by Luang Pu

It’s normal that when people practicing concentration start getting results, they can have their doubts about what they’ve experienced—for example, when they experience conflicting visions or start seeing parts of their own bodies. Many people came to Luang Pu, asking him to resolve their doubts or to give them advice on how to continue with their practice. And a lot of people would come to say that when meditating they saw hell or heaven or heavenly mansions, or else a Buddha image inside their body. “Was what I saw real?” they would ask.

Luang Pu would respond:
“The vision you saw was real, but what you saw in the vision wasn’t.”
The questioner might then ask,“You say that all these visions are external, and that I can’t yet put them to any use; if I stay stuck simply on the vision I won’t make any further progress. Is it because I’ve been staying so long with these visions that I can’t avoid them? Every time I sit down to meditate, as soon as the mind gathers together it goes straight to that level. Can you give me some advice on how to let go of visions in an effective way?”

Luang Pu would respond:
“Oh, some of these visions can be lots of fun and really absorbing, you know, but if you stay stuck right there it’s a waste of time. A really simple method for letting go of them is not to look at what you see in the vision, but to look at what’s doing the seeing. Then the things you don’t want to see will disappear on their own.”
Excerpt from "Gifts He Left Behind: The Dhamma Legacy of Phra Ajaan Dune Atulo (Luang Pu)
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